Cognitive Benefits of Painting: How a Painting Class Helps Your Brain

Painting is good for your brain. It works your brain in unique ways. Increasing research has shown painting not only tickles your creative itch – it could also provide powerful cognitive benefits of its own.

August 24, 2020
Mike Jr.

Painting is good for your brain. It works your brain in unique ways. Increasing research has shown painting not only tickles your creative itch – it could also provide powerful cognitive benefits of its own.

How can painting help your brain? Is there really scientific evidence showing painting can flex your brain muscles? Let’s take a closer look at the connection between painting and cognition.

Painting boosts memory

Science shows painting boosts memory. It enhances your ability to recall information – particularly visual information.  

If you spend most of your day reading or interpreting numbers, then you might struggle to visualize and implement creative information. Painting can sharpen your mind through conceptual visualization and implementation.

Some people spend all day dealing with non-visual information. This could make it more difficult to recall visual information – like images or graphics – in the future. Painting can boost this area of your memory, helping you recall visual information more effectively.

Painting could reduce the risk of cognitive decline

Studies show that people with creative outlets like writing, painting, and drawing have a lower chance of developing memory loss illnesses and other cognitive issues.

Degenerative brain conditions can occur for any number of reasons – including many unknown reasons. However, some cases of cognitive decline are linked with low brain activity. If you don’t use your brain as you get older, then you could be at a higher risk of developing cognitive issues.

Painting and other creative outlets flex your creative muscle – just like you flex your leg muscles when going for a run. By flexing the creative muscles in your brain, you could reduce your risk of cognitive decline – and statistics back up this claim.

This 2017 study from the Mayo Clinic showed adults over 70 who participated in arts and crafts had a lower risk of developing cognitive issues than adults who read or engaged in other activities.

Painting spurs emotional growth

Painting could do more than just spur cognitive growth – it could also spur emotional growth. Painting gives individuals a chance to express their feelings and emotions.

If you’re accustomed to using words to express emotions, then using paintings to express those same emotions could feel unusual. Once you start painting, however, you’ll realize something surprising: painting can release your inner thoughts.

People who use painting to express their thoughts can overcome shyness. Some people are naturally quiet, and painting allows them to show their personality.

In other words, someone who is shy could use their artwork to tell a story, overcome social awkwardness, and share their feelings with the world.

Painting builds motor skills

You need basic motor skills to paint. As you paint more often, your motor skills improve. You might find fine motor movements – like typing or using chopsticks – become easier. You might discover that you can do more with your hands than before.

Some people don’t use their hands or fingers frequently. Over time, this can lead to poor motor skills. When painting, your brain concentrates on using fine motor movements to craft an image. This works the part of your brain that controls your motor skills, which could enhance movement at any age.

Painting could boost mood

Some studies have shown that painting promotes an optimistic attitude. It makes you more hopeful. Some people become happier simply through painting on their own. Others become happier because they’re painting with other people as part of a painting class.

Others boost their mood while painting because of stress relief. Painting can provide stress relief, helping you forget about the worries of the world. It takes your mind off other pressures, allowing you to focus on a singular task.  

Painting can be good medicine

Harvard Health researchers believe art is good medicine. Researchers cited “decades of research” showing a connection between art and a lower risk of dementia. They also cited studies showing that visual art can reduce stress and promote relaxation in people who are hospitalized or homebound due to illness.

The researchers cited the 2017 report from the Mayo Clinic that shows adults over 70 who did craft projects had a lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment than those who read books.

Illness could make you more sedentary. It could impact mood. It could increase feelings of hopelessness. According to Harvard Health, painting can boost your mood during uncertain times, which could increase your ability to recover from an illness.

Schedule a Paint and Sip Live class today

Going to a painting class is like going to the gym – but for your brain. Painting doesn’t give you bigger muscles, but it can flex brain power in unique ways.

Studies show painting can enhance cognition in multiple ways. It can spur emotional growth, reduce the risk of cognitive decline, boost memory, and provide other powerful benefits.

Schedule a painting class with Paint and Sip Live today. We welcome complete beginners – and experienced experts. It could boost your brain and provide powerful cognitive benefits.

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